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Spotify buys podcast discovery platform Podz as war with Apple heats up

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Spotify on Thursday announced the acquisition of Podz, a podcast discovery service that enables content creators to better promote their show using audio clips selected through a special algorithm.

The purchase is Spotify's latest step toward creating a feature-rich podcasting experience that beats out industry incumbent Apple. As with music, Spotify is looking to upgrade its product by focusing on content discovery, an area where Podz can help, reports TechCrunch.

"At Spotify, we are investing to build and scale the world's best (and most personalized) podcast discovery experience," Spotify said in a statement. "We believe that Podz' technology will complement and accelerate Spotify's focused efforts to drive discovery, deliver listeners the right content at the right time, and accelerate growth of the category worldwide."

Currently, content creators looking to promote their podcast typically clip soundbites to share on social media and other platforms. Existing tools allow podcasters to manually select and share snippets of audio, but Podz automates the process.

In its app, which is no longer available, Podz presented users a feed of audio clips that were pulled from podcasts using machine learning model trained on more than 100,000 hours of audio in consultation with journalists and audio editors, the report says. On Spotify, these clips will "give users the opportunity to preview key moments from podcast episodes, encouraging them to discover and listen to new podcasts," the company said in a press release.

Spotify plans to integrate Podz technology across its collection of 2.6 million podcasts by the end of 2021.

The move comes days after Apple flipped the switch on a paid subscription feature for its native Podcasts app. Announced in April, Podcast Subscriptions enable podcasters to bill listeners for access to exclusive content directly through Apple's platform. Initially due to arrive in May, launch of the subscription option was delayed for unknown reasons.

Alongside Apple and Spotify, Facebook this week revealed plans to step into the podcasting fray with its own platform offering on June 22.

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